General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra recently shared some insights on the automaker’s decision to partner with Tesla for its vehicles’ rapid charging system. GM announced earlier this month that its vehicles would be integrating Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its electric cars starting 2025.
During an interview with CNBC‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Barra was asked about how she views Tesla and Elon Musk following their NACS agreement. When asked if she still viewed Musk as a competitor, Barra stated that she views the Tesla CEO as both a partner and a competitor.
“In this case, it was a decision really that’s good for everyone. And as you see more OEMs move to (adopting) this standard, I think it’s going to be better for the consumer,” the GM CEO said.
Barra described the advantages of the Tesla NACS deal to GM’s customers. “I think what was important there is that General Motors customers had access to about 13,000 chargers in the US. That doubled it,” she said.
The GM CEO stated that the automotive sector should collaborate more. This is something that GM has done in the past, even with rivals like Ford and Honda. As such, the Tesla NACS deal made sense.
“I think one of the things our industry could do is partner more. We’ve done partnership deals with Ford in the past on transmissions. We have a partnership on many things right now with Honda. I think our industry could be even more efficient. We saw this as an opportunity for General Motors. We were able to save $400 million,” Barra said.
In a rather fun part of her interview, the GM CEO revealed that she and Musk text each other. “We actually text each other. We’ve met before on a handful of occasions, and we text each other. So I texted him,” Barra said.
Watch Mary Barra’s interview with CNBC in the video below.
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